Mayor’s salary high, but not for the North

For Whitehorse, a city of only 22,000 people, $77,000 is a pretty hefty mayoral salary. Corner Brook, Newfoundland, has 20,083 people, but its mayor only makes $27,032. Being mayor of Uxbridge, Ontario, gets you $39,804.

For Whitehorse, a city of only 22,000 people, $77,000 is a pretty hefty mayoral salary.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland, has 20,083 people, but its mayor only makes $27,032.

Being mayor of Uxbridge, Ontario, gets you $39,804.

Westmount, Quebec, has 20,494 people – and is one of Canada’s richest municipalities.

Its mayor pulls in $43,934.

But none of those cities are North of 60.

Yellowknife Mayor Gord Van Tighem oversees 18,700 people – and pulls in $58,587 – plus a municipal officer’s allowance of $29,293.

Last year, Iqaluit city council voted to pay $70,000 to its part-time mayor.

“A lot of the time, our wages in the North are certainly more than they would be down south,” said Whitehorse Mayor Bev Buckway.

The median Yukon household income is $8,000 more than the Canadian average of $55,016, according to 2000 census data.

Throughout her term, Buckway made $72,500 per year.

In late August, Whitehorse city council voted to increase the mayor’s salary to $77,000 by 2011.

Being mayor isn’t a nine-to-five gig; Buckway needs to be on call 24/7, said Councillor Dave Stockdale during an August 24 council meeting.

“It’s not uncommon to get calls at 11:30 at night, or when you’re dishing out Thanksgiving Dinner for your family,” said Buckway.

It’s not only the running-a-city part, though.

Even running for election imposes large financial risks.

“Basically, you’re putting aside your business interests, or you’re giving up a job in order to run for council,” said Buckway.

“You pretty much put things on the line,” she said.

And of course, there’s the higher Yukon cost of living – be it inflated housing prices or heating costs.

Running a capital city imposes some extra mayoral duties – but not necessarily a salary premium.

Charlottetown, PEI (population 32,174), like Whitehorse, is a capital city.

And, like Whitehorse, it recently hosted the Canada Games.

Its mayor only makes $48,000.

Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick (population 50,000), has a mayoral salary of only $25,616.88, plus $12,808.44 in annual expenses.

Whitehorse also takes up a lot of space – but mayors aren’t medieval lords; they are rarely compensated based on the number of hectares they govern.

Bluewater, ON (population 9,600), is the same size as Whitehorse, but its mayor brings in less than $10,000.

Contact Tristin Hopper at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read